You may have discovered on a death certificate or through other documentation that your ancestor died in the hospital. Do you want to know if any hospital records exist? Do not be surprised if these records cannot be accessed without a court order if they are less than 50 or in some cases, 75 years old. Your first challenge would be to determine where they are housed which will vary by locality. Check out the examples of places below where you may find hospital records.
Hospital – Study the history of the hospital.
Like the more traditional businesses, hospitals have opened, closed, merged, been taken over, and changed names. As a result, knowledge of the history of the hospital may be needed to locate available records. See “Hospital Records.”
State archives – The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration has provided access to the Vermont State Hospital records from 1891 to 1969 as cited in “Vermont State Archives Opens State Hospital Records.” Record types include name, admission date, age, class of patient, town of origin, remarks, date of discharge, and more.
Courthouse – According to the advice given by Juliana Smith in “Searching for Hospital Records,” another great place to search for guardianship or probate records that were created when an ancestor became institutionalized as a patient.
City hall – The City Archives of Philadelphia is the source to go to for access to records of the Alms House and its successor as well as Philadelphia General Hospital from 1751 to the 1940’s
Historical societies – Minnesota Historical Society has hospital records most commonly used for researching family history.
University libraries – Hospital records are one of the unofficial vital records included in the collection of vital records at Parkside Library on the campus of University of Wisconsin.
Family History Library Catalog – If you perform a keyword search for “hospital” in the catalog, you will retrieve over 2,300 results. Use the filter on the left sidebar to further narrow your results.